Still More Garden Knickknackery
Ye Olde Millstone
When I was a speck of a child I can remember my great-grandfather Perry Newcomb Richmond, a Yakama Indian, sitting at a millstone very similar to this one, sharping axes & scythes. I have one of his often-sharpened knives which was worn down to a slender-slender blade, & still holding its edge.
We found this broken, rusty, worn out relic in the "dungeon" when we bought the house. The "dungeon" is a dark wide passage that leads down, down, down from the basement to the lower street's sunken garage. I lugged the heavy thing out of the dungeon into the yard, where it now sits by the side-door partially obscured by the forsythia.
Mason Bee Hotel
Mason bees don't like to fly far if they can help it, so it's nice to have a bee hotel somewhere on each side of the house. This will ensure that everything is properly pollinated. In a garden such as ours, full of woody shrubs that produce bright berries, inviting bees insures maximum fruit for a more beautiful effect in the gardens all year round. Bee hotels should get direct sunlight.
It's nice if such a sloppy gardener as myself can leave the wheelbarrow right where it was last used & it's decorative rather than a homely distraction. I used to have a rusty metal wheelbarrow that cost seven dollars from a yardsale, & it certainly put in a good day's work, but it was ugly. So I got this wooden wheelbarrow, which is apt to be seen in any part of the garden, sometimes with dirt in it, sometimes with empty pots, or heeped high with pulled weeds to eventually cart to the compost. With an aesthetic intent even to my sloppiness, I seem always to be able to leave the barrow anywhere & it happens always to be at a pretty angle.
We have an old Choke Cherry Tree that is slowly rotting away. The arborist who checked it out said there isn't much to be done, it has simply reached the end of its life, but we may have a few more years in its company with a little maintenance. It remains pretty & blooms well, so we do for it what we can. To keep it from breaking under its own weight at the point of its rotting-out crotch, we've removed substantial branches. This photo shows of such branch stripped of leaves & twigs, saved for use as a decoration. It's about seven feet wide & four feet tall, quite lovely with scruffy bark & clinging lichen. At the moment it's just sitting here on the roof of the sunken garage & I'm not sure what we'll do with it, but it'll be worked into some gardening arrangement eventually. When the sad day comes when we do finally lose the choke cherry, it will be nice to have some remnants of its long treasured beauty here & there about the gardens.
Granny Artemis spotted this crockery dog at a nursery a few towns down the coast, done by a local artist but no one was there that day who could give us his name. The dog stands about two feet tall & the design is based on a chess set design. We brought it home & set it at the foot of the back stoop in front of an oak rain barrel. The doggy's feet are hidden amidst deadnettles, & growing from out of his head are some cobweb houseleeks.
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